I LISTEN TO HELEN SHAW, especially when she offers an opinion on the quality of creative multimedia graduates. At the moment, Helen is frustrated by "the often poor skills being taught to those following academic courses in digital media and broadcasting." She draws on personal experience. "Many of the graduates we are seeing are, despite their own best efforts, extremely poorly equipped for a digital media production market." She puts the blame on the desks of college lecturers. That would be me and my colleagues in Tipperary Institute and Limerick Institute of Technology.
Helen thinks some colleges "allow people to leave with extremely basic digital editing and recording skills." It's worse than one might think. "In some cases we have seen masters graduates with skills which would be seen as poor in Leaving Certificate students."
These are issues pertaining to the smart economy. If Ireland expects to meet the demand being created by the new digital media sector, a sector growing in strength every quarter, third level institutions must educate to an industry standard. Ireland has a world-famous flexible working relationship with large companies. FAS, and to some extent the third level institutions, listen to the skills requirements of new companies and they adjust proficiencies in courses offered.
Helen thinks Irish degrees "are frequently not, in our experience, ensuring people who have defined and clear skills. We need to see graduates with outstanding digital skills rather than weak or average or else the jobs created by the digital media sector will go elsewhere."
I'm taking the clarion call of Helen Shaw on board as we scrub our Creative Multimedia Degree programme during a scheduled five-year review.